Title: European shares slide on tech selloff, French election jitters
Apr 11, 2022 05:11AM ET
European stocks fell Monday as rising bond yields shook technology stocks and volatility gripped French blue-chips amid forecasts of a close race between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the latest round of voting.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.6 percent, led by a 2.1 percent drop in technology stocks. Among regional indices, Germany's DAX fell 0.8 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent.
Ifop pollsters predict a close runoff on April 24, with Macron getting 51% of the vote and Le Pen getting 49%.
French assets have deteriorated recently as investors assessed the possibility of a Le Pen victory, fearing her protectionism, tax cuts, and nationalization. Meanwhile, the CAC 40 index lost 1.7 percent in April, while the STOXX 600 index rose 0.4 percent.
"I don't expect French stock markets to rise in the second round. We expect a lot of volatility and range trading, "said Mathieu Racheter, head of equity strategy at Julius Baer.
"It will be very tight in the second round, but the baseline scenario for us is Macron getting re-elected, and the market will take that pretty well."
France's medium and small business index rose 0.3 percent, and banks, including Societe Generale, Credit Agricol, and BNP Paribas, also strengthened.
Societe Generale jumped 5.8% after it agreed to sell its stake in Rosbank and the Russian lender's insurance subsidiaries.
Overall, euro zone banks and insurers strengthened amid rising government bond yields ahead of U.S. inflation data and a European Central Bank meeting this week.